Countless Canadians suffer from tooth sensitivity. Sharp pains and endless discomfort can be substantially minimized or entirely eliminated with proper measures. Here are five mechanisms for combating tooth sensitivity.
Choose a Better Brush
You might prefer hard-bristled brushes, but they’re more likely to irritate sensitive teeth. A soft-bristled toothbrush will effectively clean your teeth with less aggravation. Gently brushing back and forth, rather than scrubbing your teeth without any particular rhythm, may also help reduce sensitivity.
Avoid Acidic Foods
Do you ever notice sensitivity after eating certain foods? Acids wear away tooth enamel, triggering sensitivity in areas with minimal enamel and causing further decay over time. Foods such as citrus fruits, carbonated beverages, processed items and coffee should be avoided (or at least limited). Once acid is reduced from your diet, you should notice a difference in tooth sensitivity.
Use Salt to Your Advantage
If you experience a sudden toothache or consume acidic food, try swishing salt water to decrease sensitivity. Salt water helps improve the pH balance in your mouth. It creates an alkaline environment that harmful bacteria struggle to survive in and can help treat sore gums. Just mix ½ teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water, swish it around your mouth, spit and rinse. This simple tip might be all it takes to minimize sensitivity.
Tackle Grinding & Clenching Habits
Grinding and clenching your teeth causes more pain and damage than you may realize. It can wear away enamel, as well as put excess force on supporting tissues of the teeth. A mouthguard is a logical option if you grind your teeth at night or tend to clench during stressful workdays. Your dentist can mould a mouthguard to fit your teeth or you can find a generic guard at a local drugstore.
Try Desensitizing Agents
Desensitizing agents aren’t natural remedies and cannot cure sensitivity, but they’ve been proven to treat symptoms. Certain types of toothpaste contain ingredients such as potassium nitrate or strontium chloride to aid with sensitive teeth. Dentin, one of four major components of teeth, contains small tubules that lead to nerves. Chemicals in desensitizing toothpaste block tubules to stop pain signals from reaching nerves, making it an option for fast relief. Your dentist can also apply fluoride varnish directly to your teeth to help strengthen enamel and reduce sensitivity.
Causes of Tooth Sensitivity
There are many potential causes, including tooth decay, exposed roots at the gumline, overly aggressive brushing, enamel erosion, worn out fillings and gum disease. Each of these may be the result of oral hygiene habits, poor nutrition, clenching, grinding or medication side effects.
If you’ve tried combating sensitivity with these five mechanisms and haven’t experienced noticeable results, consult with your dentist. Our expert dentistry team will help find a solution that works best for you! Contact us today to book an appointment or for more information.